Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Smells gooood!

It's not a meme or a tag but Lacquer did a post on all his favorite smells and it sent me tripping down memory lane (makes sense if you know that the olfactory sections of your brain are located most closely to the memory areas). I am shamelessly stealing his idea. I'll start with some of the points of agreement...

Clean Laundry: Especially sheets that have been hung on the wash line. Fresh, clean, pure, crisp, perfect. There is no substitute.

Cow Manure: No, I am not kidding. I am quite serious. It's the smell that lets me know I am almost home. When I'd drive home from college and catch that first whiff from the manure that had been spread on the fields I'd get a very calm and happy feeling, then I'd take a deep breath to really get a snoot full. What can I say? I'm a hick from Pennsylvania.

The Woods: In the Spring when the earth is warming up and snow is melting and new things are sprouting, in the summer when it has just rained and freshened up after the humidity has clung to the leaves, in the fall when the leaves have come down but it's still warm and wet and things begin to rot...you just know it's a nourishing smell. And a stand of pine is a little bit of heaven. (I have to agree with Lacquer's assessment of wood, bonfires, and burning leaves too...all of that, just filing it under here)

Leather: And is it just me or does it seem like when you get a new leather item these days it doesn't quite have the same smell anymore? It's fainter, you have to work to fill your nostrils on a new piece of leather.

Men: Women's perfumes tend to drive me crazy sneezing or give me a headache. Few men's colognes or aftershaves do this to me so naturally that is more pleasant. Ralph Lauren's Polo.....oh Lord, have mercy! That is foreplay in a bottle! But beyond all that, I like man skin smell. They don't wear makeup which changes a person's smell. Preferably they don't have hair gel or gunk like that that interferes. Just clean man smell. Right from the shower is wonderful but even a couple hours later is terrific because he's had a chance to regain whatever smell makes him unique. Even if a guy comes in from just having worked up a sweat (Mr. Lime is a distance runner....I know this well!) A fresh sweat (and I stress fresh, not when he's gotten all crudded up and stewed in his own juices all day and into the next) on a guy is pleasant in a way (the fermenting running clothes are quite vile, however). I like rolling over onto Mr. Lime's pillow even after he has gone and knowing just by the scent that it's his pillow.

Sex: Oh don't act so shocked. Falling asleep under a blanket of new musk blended by two well sated lovers is so wonderful. I'm quite amazed how the individual bouquets are so enlivening beforehand and during, yet have such a soporific effect afterwards. Of course it can lead to...

Clean baby: Not all perfumed and powdered, just clean and soft and pure. Stick your nose in where their fat little cheeks meet their necks and snuffle a bit...mmmmm. The baby likes the closeness and you'll smell a bit of innocence and peace. Of course, even when my kids got older I still liked to nuzzle down into their necks when we'd cuddle and breath them in. Sometimes it was a game of snuffle tickles, I'd snuffle them, they'd snuffle back, I'd dissolve in a fit of uncontrollable laughter first usually because my neck is so ridiculously ticklish.

Ripe summer fruit: Berries and peaches and plums and melons. Ripe sweetness hanging heavy in the air like the full fruit dragging down vines or tree limbs.

Farmer's Markets: Yep, go back to Zern's and have your nose bombarded by a million smells...the livestock auction, the produce stands, the barber shop, the Amish chicken stand with rotisserie birds and fried mushrooms, the used books, the leather stands, the spice stand and loose tea shop, the bakery stands.....ooo, the sticky buns just crawling out to grab you by the nose and pull you over (will that be with nuts or without? yes, please), some guy with a cigar (which is a smell I actually hate but it's all part of the experience), the folks who just had their one bath of the week and the ones who are due for it. I could go on and on, it's an olfactory field trip or a scavenger hunt or a test (blindfold me and I'll smell my way through here).

Books: A new book has such a wonderful smell. It smells crisp and of promise, like a blind date who really scrubbed up and maybe threw on just a hint of fragrance hoping you'll like it and be impressed with the effort. An old book, especially one you love, is like that whole rolling over on the pillow thing. Might be kinda stale but it's familiar and comfortable in its mustiness. I'm broken in, I've stood the test, come sit down and spend some time.

Fabric: Ok, Lacquer explained wood very well. Even someone who isn't a carpenter can grasp that. This might be a bit trickier (back me up, Susie) but if you sew a lot or grew up with a mother who did you should get this. There is sizing on new fabric that leaves once it's been washed but until then it hasn't had the chance to acquire a laundry smell or a human smell. If a bolt sits around for a while it might get dusty and take that on some. It's not entirely the smell of starch. It's just the scent of potential. Just like Lacquer said different woods smell, so do different fabrics. Cotton doesn't smell like silk doesn't smell like rayon doesn't smell like wool doesn't smell like polyester. If you have to press out a seam or a dart as you are sewing the heat of the iron completely changes the smell of the fabric. Throw in some fusible facing or add some tailor's chalk or the tracing papers with special inks to mark out where you have to put darts and such. If you are an old time quilter you might get a block of beeswax to run your thread through, gives it strength and helps it slide through the thick layers of fabric and batting. Now there are all sorts of high tech threads and synthetics that do that job for you but they sure don't smell like beeswax and cotton thread. And then there's the accumulation of lint and fuzz in the sewing machine and the oil for the little motor. A sewing room that is used often is a beautiful bouquet of subtle smells that indicate practical creativity.

Trinidad: If you've been in a country other than where you've been born and raised you understand what I mean. A different country just smells completely different and I think when you get on some relatively sterile airplane and speed off and land somewhere else and can disembark on the tarmac and have a whole nation of aromas whack you in the face all at once you really grasp that. I still remember the first time I got off the plane and got a whiff of Trinidad. A distant saltiness, faint spice, lingering fruit and deeply foresty smells (A year later a foggy early autumn morning in Pennsylvania replicated that heavy base. I inhaled deeply and sighed.) all mingled in the humid blanket of scents that wrapped around me. It's deeply organic. Tobago didn't even smell like this, Tobago smelled more 'cleansed'....like it was 'sanitized for your protection.' Trinidad smelled real.

Cooking smells: Crimony, I could do a month of posts just on this! I'll limit myself though to the most nostalgic...Marjoram. To this day it reminds me of my grandmother's chicken pot pie. No, not that junk in a pie pan with a flaky crust. Anyone from Pennsylvania knows that's not pot pie (back me up, Lacquer...) Pot pie is a stewy thing, chicken with gravy and potatoes and thick homemade egg noodles and carrots and onions and simple seasonings. Marjoram is the most pungent of them. Even now when I cook with it I crush it up between my palms before I dump it in my pot. Then I cup my hands around my nose and inhale slowly and for a moment I am a kid back in Mom-mom's kitchen.

Chocolate: Yeah, big surprise there. If you've ever been to Hershey, Pennsylvania the whole town smells of chocolate. I thought that was heaven...until I drove through a cacao plantation on Trinidad. I am not kidding when I say that it was intoxicating. I think I had a human version of cats in catnip or a replay of the poppy fields in Wizard of Oz only in chocolate. I think every nerve ending wired to my nose was tingling and every pleasure spot in my brain was set on a steady buzz. I would have been most susceptible to any kind of suggestion during that drive.

So tell me, what are your favorite smells?

53 comments:

G-Man said...

A Green House..

An Indian Restaurant...

A Head Shop...

Patchoully....

My Moustache after doing what I do best!!

Jodes said...

ooh yeah those are all good and I totally relate to the manure one, I grew up near a dairy farm and a pig farm.....I do not think it smells good like you do, but I know what you mean, it is a sign to me to that I am close to home.

Fresh Country Air and lilacs are 2 more that I would add to this list if it was mine.

steve said...

Love this post!!

Have a great day!

barefoot_mistress said...

Yahoo ate my comments.

barefoot_mistress said...

OK I will try again although, man, I typed like at least 5 minutes of stuff and it got eaten....ok NOT yahoo but those other guys.

Chocolate
Vanilla
Lavender
Cow Manure
Fresh rain
Coconut Oil
Baking

And yes on the fabric thing, it does all smell different. I am such a textile snob though, if I cant blast it with steam and the hottest temp, then it aint a natural fiber and I am NOT interested!

logo™ said...

Why am I not suprised that so many of mine are already on your list?

Fun post, Limey, I love it.

Ameratis said...

That is fun I may still it some time ;) I agree with half of the ones on your list. Thanks for sharing :)

Blither said...

You do realize I'm not getting any "Sex", Right? Thanks for the tantalizing sensual spot of "Love". Dandy.

I'm gonna go run around naked in the freezing back yard and ... Well.. Just hope.

Ps. Eww.. Chocolate Stinks. But you are Lime and Limes are Wonderful good smells.

Moosekahl said...

I get migraine headaches and a lot of strong smells can sat one off so I've always been attune to my sniffer...A few favorites.

Damp woods: a pile of damp fall leaves is my favorite
Men: like you, women's cologne's give me a migraine. Men's cologne's rarely do and the smell of my man all sweaty and his deodorant in high gear...ooh baby!
Apple Pie: Sometimes I'll make one just to smell it
Bandaids: Maybe it's why I'm in health care but I like the smell of a fresh opened band aid
A new book: Again, like you I love the smell of paper pages.
The smell of the dorms at Univ of South Dakota: it brings back memories of Gifted Camp and long days and longer nights with my best friends in the summer

Top cat said...

lime you always come up with the greatest comments in your lists.
I agree with many of these.
Wow we'd be screwed without a sense of smell.
tc

snavy said...

I love the smell of fabric.

G-Man said...

I'm adding two more...

The Lancombe chick at Macy's..

The particular wing at the Mall, that the guy making those cinnamin almonds are in..

lime said...

g-man, some terrific inclusions! the almonds are calling me now!

jodes, it's why i was specific about cow manure. i lived next to a pig farm....vileness!

steve, thanks, youtoo:)

susie, coconut oil, how could i forget?? and i agree abotu natural fabrics. whaddya think of this new bamboo cloth?

logo, two minds but a single thought....

ameratis, i'll be anxious to read yours

blither, i am sorry...

moose, bandaids DEFIINTELY havea distinctive smell. now i am thinking of the old time tincture of merthiolate too, remember that stuff or are you too young?

tc, totally screwed.

snavy, ;)

Dr. Psy said...

Hello Michelle. Glad to see you still plugging away on your site. Me, I'm a smoker, so I dont have quite the refined sense of smell that a non smoker might have. However, two scents that always captivate me are the perfume 'addict' and the incense/oil 'nightspell'. Both are incredibly arousing and mysterious. Certain musk scents also carry those qualities for me too.

Dr. Psy said...

Oh! And strong coffee or espresso, freshly brewed. HOW could I forget that one! Being the coffee lover that I am!

lime said...

dr psy, nice to see you again! it's odd. i have NEVER liked the taste of coffee, and i've tried to like it. but i do love the smell of it while it brews. good addition.

Breazy said...

I have never got to smell Trinidad but I agree with all the rest. The ocean is another thing for me. That is my calming smell. Have a good day!

lime said...

breazy, ocean smells are great, love the salt air.

G-Man said...

I love the smell of Lime!

Hypersonic said...

I'm going to post this one on the weekend, let me get the first week of this damned training out of the way. They have me talking like a new york fishwife at the moment, why can't you yanks have a decent accent!? :o)

lime said...

hypersonic, i'll be anxious to read yours. and ahem...i do NOT have a new york accent. it is decidedly philadelphian with a sprinkling of pennsylvania dutch. i can approximate a trini accent and since i'm an absentee landowner i'm now working on my aussie, ya bloody whingin pommie! lol

G-Man said...

HHmmmm, Philly, with a dash of Pa. Dutch....

YO, Hester, maketh me a steak and cheese..NOW!

Amber said...

Baby and books are my favorites from your list. There's nothing sweeter than smelling a baby's hair freshly washed with johnsons baby shampoo.
By the way, SpongeBaz, that's cleaver. I never thought of that. I'm gonna call him that for awhile.

M said...

I love the smell of my cats.

I love earth, dirt...especially from a really good compost pile.

I love the smell of Polo and Obssession for Men.

Peaches...

Italian spices... especially when my mom or grandma made spaghetti sauce.

MMM...your post has me thinking about smells today. Thank you!

lime said...

g-man, onions and sauce?

amber, who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

m, i'm with you on all of that except the cats. they make me sneeze and wheeze. peaches...mmmmmm

Moosekahl said...

I'm too young for tincture of merthiolate...what was it used for?

cindra said...

THAT was great. Wonderful post...and I really feel exhausted now...what a ride...and yes, hicks and bumpkins unite! I love manure smell too for all the same reasons. You are super cool, lime.

MONA said...

Lime..My favourite all all your favs, except, manure, mr lime, & farmer's market[ I cant stand the smell of crabs]..
The polo perfume is my favourite too!
this olfactory post of yours is wonderful!

Gary said...

Charcoal. Bacon in the woods.Scented facial tissue.Mulch....

barefoot_mistress said...

When I was in India I bought Gary a shirt made out of bamboo...it's sorta lineny..but, wierd...for example...
When you iron it, it takes on a shine...and also, it wrinkles easily, and it doesnt seem like it will last forever...
But then again, if someone sneezes on him while wearing it, he might not get sick because of bamboos antibacterial properties! IMagine!

barefoot_mistress said...

..the smell of your old flannel after a campfire and weenie roast...
...a little kid after eating pancakes with maple syrup...
..fresh cut grass, which I am allergic to, but will suffer for...
.....hot baking banana bread...(not for you, I know...)
...and here's a weird one...when I was growing up there was a clothing store in the mall called Anitas...it smelled just like blackberrys....whenever I pick blackberries every year, I am reminded of buying my hawaiin print bikini there, among many other things....
Anitas and blackberries, who knew?

Lacquer, Semi-Gloss Lacquer said...

...good lord what have I done...

-And yes, that is a NewYork Accent you hear, (though I initially was raised in Jersey and had a Philly going for a while too... Now? definitely NY...

-Re... the leathers
-The chemical that they used to tan leathers has been found to be a carcinogen (sp?) so they use a different one these days... but you are correct... -also it depends upon the origion of the leather, -some countries use different chems...

A chicken Pot Pie is an entire farm in a crust... (sometimes including tractor parts,)

I also love the smell of band-aids.

intersting side note:
migranes are actually related to epilepsy, --and a person gets 'auras,' (or smells,) prior to seizures, -as well as migranes, ---and they are closely related, where certain scents can trigger migraines, ---but what is also interesting? a person who has a seizure disorder, can smell (aura) different things, (rubber, burnt toast, etc...) -and that means that they are having an event.

They say that a sense of smell is the first thing that we have, as babies once outside of the womb, (first sense would be sound, ---and kids are very susceptable to sounds (loud ones especially,) in utero... (this is why putting headphones on a pregger belly is kind of not such a good idea... the amneotic fluid magnifies the sound, and can damage the kids hearing, (though very very quiet sounds can sooth.)

One smell I remember that I never smell anymore?
Ditto paper smell... (jeeze, we'd sit there at our desks snorting like a bunch of blood hounds and then half pass out, or head hitting the desk tops... (or how about clapped erasers???)

-you guys try to stay warm over there, Mom says it's a screeching 16 degrees or so, (tops,) with a windchill of negative 5.

-Here in Fresno it's finally raining, the day temps are in the low 70's and night is in the 40s.

The Zombieslayer said...

Lime - Good post, and no, I don't see the cow manure thing as weird. When I smelled cow manure, that meant I was more than halfway to Chico, which I still call home even though we moved to San Francisco recently.

Me - homemade bread, my wife, the woods, the ocean, and leather.

As for men's colognes vs women's perfumes, I keep telling people the same thing. When you get out of the shower, do not put your clothes on yet. Spray the perfume or cologne twice in the air. Walk through it forward once. Walk through it backwards once. Put your clothes on. That's the right amount of perfume/cologne.

I think your gender is more guilty than mine of overdosing, that's why women's perfume makes you sick. Too much perfume makes me sick too.

Lacquer, Semi-Gloss Lacquer said...

ZERNS.... (and I am having the worst crave for poppyseed roll right now... oy gevult, NOBODY out here has probably even heard of it... arrrrrrrgh.)

ps. -burn some cherry wood in your fireplace, -and find some cedar for your closets and drawers... yah baby.

keda said...

oooh. i loved all that!

being an aromatherapist i'm pretty sensitive to pongs.
but sadly i currently have such a blocked up snout i can't smell a thing :(

lovely sensual post babe. thank you.

lime said...

moose, it was this bright orange stuff you'd put on a cut to kill germs. theoretically it burned less that alcohol....theoretically....

cindra, you rock!

mona, i'd love to know what india smells like!

gary, bacon and charcoal are excellent additions to the list!

bare, flannels and camppifre, sticky pancake kid...mmmmm.....veryb interesting about the bamboo, i didn't know it had antibac properties.

lacquer, i don't get the strange aura, might make it easier if i did...ditto paper??? oh man! total blast from the past! when i did my student teaching we still used dittos, purple fingers, slight buzz that made coping with 6th graders a bit easier....lol, thanks! oh yeah, i have an entire closet that was built in cedar, i think i might go hide in it now...

keda, you need some eucalyptus!

lime said...

zombie???? is it really you
?? are you back??? wow!!! and who doesn't love the smell of bread baking...mmmmmm......excellent advice on how to apply perfume. thanks

AndyT13 said...

OK, I'm not going near this post. Where's your HNT?

MONA said...

Lime, India smells like spices,[ cardomoms, cinnamon, peppers, chillies cilantro bayleaves, cloves mustard etc.] sandalwood, jasmine, & a flower called Queen of Nights.This is my most fav. smell. The flowers on this plant open only at night & the fragnance is heady & has an aprodiasc effect on you. I have this plant in my garden.
We also smell sweat like sweat & toil, and like the first drops of rain upon dry earth.We certainly smell of hair oil variously perfumed, wintergreen oil, eucalyptus oil etc. & very strong non alchoholic perfume called 'attar' It is a very heady fragnance. There is also this smell of jos sticks which are used by my hindu brethen during prayer rituals each morning. But we dont smell like coffee like the US does. We smell of Tea instead...& the list goes on...:)

Top cat said...

it's THURSDAY! where's your HNT??):

G-Man said...

Wait wait wait, Mistress? Blackberry Bikini? Please don't tell me that you were on the beach, in your Blackberry Bikini, and suddenly you had to go REAL bad, so you.............





You smart chicks are killin me here! ( yeah thats you too Lime )

DaMasta said...

The salty sea air.. the beach is such a peaceful place to me, so scerene and calming.. the waves crashing in a slow and steady pace and the air blowing your hair around your clothes around your body.. and the sea gulls calling out to each other as they circle above..

MyUtopia said...

I love the smell of books also! My cousin said the smell of corn always made her think of home. The manure thing makes sense.

barefoot_mistress said...

Lime, You get away from that zipline and out of that backyard right now, little missy! I mean it.
Dont make me come over there and do it for you....


Chicken Pot Pie, a entire farm on a plate! LMAO!!!

A blackberry print bikini would be a fine thing, especially if it was also scented...
*NOTE:I was so smart I c and pd this comment because I knew they were stalkig me, and yes, I was right....they were...

G-Man said...

Cryptic chicks!

G-Man said...

MATLH,

eyecnbekriptk2xoxoxxgmn

Cosima said...

Oh, what a lovely post. There are so many smells that I like, but my absolute favorite was that of my baby right after birth. He smelled of amniotic fluid, and it was the most divine smell ever.

Top cat said...

lime..hope everything's ok with you over here.

G-Man said...

Yes Lime...like Vinny said......!

chase said...

i have read that men's sweat actually makes women attracted to them.

G-Man said...

I'm here investigating the disappearance of one Michelle Aussi Trini Limey?.............. And she's a Dutch Greek?
We better get a hold of Interpole, on this cookie.

Fred said...

Gardenia flowers. I love when the bushes are in bloom...they're intoxicating.

RennyBA said...

For a Norwegian, it's very easy to answer your question - especially at this time of the year: Cold, fresh, crispy, winterly and snowy weather! That's my favorite smells. Or at least for now... then there is spring and you know the story about the birds and the bees... and then there is summer and it's nice and hot bikinis.. and then fall:-) Well, all seasons has it's smells and I love them all!